Thursday, November 28, 2013

December Events

This is my list of free and low cost events for the greater  Portland area for December 2013.  I look for events with some cultural or educational value.  I compile this list for the homeschool group that we belong to, which has kids in grades 1-5, but most events have much wider appeal.  This month, I asked the Yip Yips  to help me by proofreading this list.  To be honest I couldn't really understand their suggestions... Plus their electromagnetic auras are causing technical difficulties!  So please be sure to doublecheck anything you'd like to attend in case of mistakes, typos or cancellations!
Elk Feeding at Jewell Meadows”, December through February at 9AM, Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area, 70978 Hwy. 202, Seaside, OR. Free. Preregistration required; to register call Jewell Meadows at (503-755-2264) beginning Dec. 1. “ODFW offers members of the public an opportunity to view the elk feeding on tours that run from December through February each year. These free popular wagon excursions trips begin at 9 a.m. and last for one hour.” http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/visitors/docs/Jewell_Meadows_WLA_Broch.pdf

World War II Newspaper Display”, through Saturday, December 7, (with no display on Thursday December 5) Tualatin Library. “Examine a special collection of front pages from ‘The Oregonian’ during World War II. Presented to the library by a local family, these volumes cover world events from December 1941 to September 1945. We encourage you to browse through this hands-on display; you may find news events that evoke memories from your family's history.”

Dragon Theater Puppets Presents, “The Reindeer and the Dreidel”, Saturday, November 30, 11AM, and Sunday, December 1, 4PM, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx. $7.00. Advance tickets recommended; available on their website: http://www.puppetmuseum.com/SummerShows.html “The Reindeer and The Dreidel is an enchanting tale about a little girl named Rachael who is on her way to celebrate Hanukkah. Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer collides with her and they begin to teach each other about their holiday traditions. However a greedy inn keeper and his ungrateful daughter just might ruin the holidays by stealing Santa's magic bag from Rachael. With the help of the woodland creatures and the spirit of the forest Rachael will teach him a lesson and save the day!”

Chanuka Menora Celebration”, nightly through Wednesday, December 4, Director Park, SW Park Ave. and SW Yamhill St., Pdx. “Chabad of Oregon, Jewish Family and Child Services, and the Oregon Food Bank are partnering together for the 30th Annual Menorah Lighting and Canorah drive.” Times vary daily- more info here: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/60439

Christmas Tree Train”, weekends through December 22, Chelatchie Prairie Railroad, Yakolt, WA. Ride the train past beautiful scenery, enjoy a warm drink, bonfire and a visit with Santa, and (optionally) select a tree to be carried back to the station on the train. http://www.bycx.com/

Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights”, nightly (except Christmas through December 30, ) 5PM-9:30PM, The Grotto, NE 85th Ave. and Sandy Blvd., Pdx. $9 adults, $8 seniors, $4 children 3-12, and free for kids 2 and under. Visitors are asked to bring a donation of canned or dry food benefiting Snow-Cap, the east county’s affiliate of the Oregon Food Bank. Presenting the sights, sounds and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The festival features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the festival theme ‘Angels on High’ reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest. Five indoor concerts are scheduled each evening in The Grotto’s 600-seat chapel, known for its cathedral quality acoustics. Continuous family entertainment in The Grotto’s plaza area includes outdoor caroling, puppet shows and a live animal petting zoo. Holiday foods and beverages are also available, as is seasonal shopping in The Grotto’s Christian Gift and Book Store. A magnificent display of nativity sets from around the world is on display for viewing and individual sets are available for purchase in the Grotto’s Visitor Complex.” http://www.thegrotto.org/christmas/

Holiday Lights at Shore Acres”, Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, 4PM-9PM, Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay, OR. $5 per vehicle day use fee. A walk-through display featuring at least 300,000 lights (mostly LED). Open Garden House with hot cider, punch, coffee and cookies. “Lights Sculptures: Pelicans, Puffins, Jellyfish, Shore Acres' Cranes, Life-size leaping Orca whale, Life-size spouting Gray whale, Tulips, Rhododendron, Rose, Dahlia, Dungeness crab, Sea Star, Sea Urchin, Sea Anemone, Sea horse, Octopus, Kelp, Frogs, Butterflies, dragonfly, playful sea lions, leaping frog in pond, ship, fuchsia flower and hummingbird, Koi carp and more!” http://www.shoreacres.net/index.php/holiday-lights

Holiday Wreath Making”, Friday, November 29, Saturday, November 30, and Sunday, December 1, 11:30AM, Tillamook Forest Center, 45500 Wilson River Highway, Tillamook. $12 for wreaths and $3 for cone bird feeders. Preregistration required; register online: http://www.tillamookforestcenter.org/events_05.html “Bring the beauty of the forest home this winter by creating a winter wreath. Participants will be introduced to a variety of natural materials that can be used for home decoration during the holiday season. Younger children will also be able to make cone bird feeders and other small items. All materials and supplies are included in the cost of the class.”

Holiday Express”, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 15, Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Pdx. Adults $18, Children 11 and under $12, and $54 for a family of two adults and two children. 45 minute train rides on Oregon’s historic Spokane, Portland and Seattle locomotive 700. This is an oil burning steam locomotive from 1938. http://www.orhf.org/about-orhf/holiday-express/

Mega Craft Workshop”, Sunday, December 1, 1:30PM, Tigard Library, Burgess Community Room. “Hop off the couch, bring the whole family to the library and let your creativity soar! Create unique gifts, cards, table centerpieces, fabric flowers, origami boxes and other crafts to get you into the spirit of the season. Projects are designed for all ages and abilities. Be the first to decorate the Mitten Tree with your donated new scarves, hats and mittens.”

Let’s Go Birding”, Sundays in December, 9AM -11AM, Fort Stevens State Park, meeting at Battery Russel. “Come join Fort Stevens State Park on our weekly bird surveys and see some of the amazing variety of birds in our local area. The surveys will monitor the bird species that are utilizing the park from season to season, and will be conducted weekly for an entire year. No birding experience is required, and experts are welcome to come share their knowledge. Binoculars are recommended, and we have a few binoculars that first-timers may borrow. The survey will take around 2 hours and will cover several diverse habitats within the park. The sites will be accessed by walking and driving.” http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=129

The Chanukah Experience”, Sunday, December 1, 2:30-5PM, Chabad Hebrew School of NE Portland, 1820 NE 40th Ave., Pdx. $5 per child. Olive press workshop, a show that teaches how oil is made in a fun, memorable way! Chanukah arts and crafts, toddler Chanukah playzone, make a Dreidel out of clay, Menorah building center.” http://www.jewishnortheast.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2394863/jewish/Chanukah-Experience.htm

Holiday Cheer”, Sunday, December 1, 12PM-4PM, Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave., Pdx. Free. “Skip the Black Friday crowds and join us Sunday, December 1 for our annual literary celebration! Chat with over 80 authors, and make a dent in your holiday shopping by picking up the perfect personalized gift. Sip on a cup of hot cider, listen to the holiday tunes of local performers The Dickens Carolers, and get into the spirit of the season at the Oregon Historical Society!” Check out the list of authors, including many children’s authors your kids might like to meet:  http://ohs.org/shop/holiday-cheer.cfm

Christmas in the Country”, Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8, 11AM-4PM, Philip Foster Farm, 29912 SE Hwy. 211, Eagle Creek, OR. Free. “Enjoy free cookies and cider as you join Santa in the parlor for photos.
 Christmas trees, wreaths, historic books and toys and home-made crafts for sale. Carolers and traditional music.” http://philipfosterfarm.com/pffwp/christmas-in-the-country/

Crazy Cartooning Class for Youth”, Sunday, December 1 and Sunday, December 8, 12PM, Independent Publishing Resource Center, 1001 SE Division St., Pdx. $20 per class or $30 for both. Suggested for ages 8-13. Preregistration required; register by emailing iprcworkshops@gmail.com. “Attention boys and girls! Participate in our Crazy Cartooning Class! This class teaches kids how to create images from their own imagination using basic drawing techniques. Follow step by step instructions to create your own fun and colorful cartoon characters and landscapes. No drawing experience necessary. Beginners are welcome!” http://www.iprc.org/category/calendar

Birding at Crystal Springs”, Sunday, December 1, 9:15AM, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, 6015 SE 28th Ave., Pdx. “Join authors Max Smith and Sarah Swanson for a
 morning walk through southeast Portland’s Westmoreland Park. Max and Sarah will share tips for identifying the waterfowl, gulls, and songbirds that gather at this park each winter.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/wmparkn13

Love My Pet”, Sunday, December 1, 2PM, Northwest Library (preregistration required; register online: https://multcolib.org/events/love-my-pet/15833); and Saturday, December 7, 1PM, St. Johns Library (preregistration required; register online: https://multcolib.org/events/love-my-pet/15834 ). “Let’s face it ... we love our pets. And every pet has a story. Join artist Joanne Kollman in creating a multimedia collage to tell your pet’s story. Supplies are provided, however, you are encouraged to bring any ideas or materials inherent to telling the story of your pet. Let your imagination and your pet’s nature lead the way.” http://www.joannekollman.com/

Author Talk, “Lars Nordstrom”, Sunday, December 1, 2PM, Beaverton Library, Meeting Room B. “Lars Nordstrom will discuss a new book: ‘Swedish Roots- Oregon Lives’. This is a collection of oral histories of Swedish immigrants living in Oregon.” http://www.larsnordstrom.com/default.html

Innovation in Life Science: How Technology is Redefining Healthcare”, Monday, December 2, 7PM, Hollywood Theater, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., Pdx. Minors welcome with an adult. $5 suggested donation. Presented by Eric Dishman, Intel Fellow and General Manager, Intel Health and Life Sciences. “For more than 15 years, Intel has been conducting cutting edge R and D around the world to address global transformations in health and aging. Intel Fellow Eric Dishman will describe Intel’s journey, his own journey as a 'patient entrepreneur,' and Intel’s focus on developing a 'personal health' model of care for the 21st century.” https://www.omsi.edu/sciencepubportland/120213

Homeschool Archery”, Monday, December 2 and 16, and Tuesday, December 3 and 17, 10:30AM- 12PM, Archers Afiled, Tigard Plaza Shopping Center, lower level, 11945 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard. $6.75 a session. All ages welcome. http://www.archersafield.com/homeschool.html

Exploring the World of Chocolate”, Tuesday, December 3, 7PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Get an inside look at Moonstruck Chocolates, a chocolate factory based in the Portland area, and explore how chocolate is made, what makes Moonstruck so successful, and how you can make your own delectable creations. A variety of Moonstruck chocolates will be on hand to try.”

Homeschool Literary Circle”, Tuesday, December 3, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “Calling all homeschoolers age 10-14! Make new friends and talk about great books. Read The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas.” http://shelleymoorethomas.blogspot.com/p/trinket.html

Concert, “Snax”, Tuesday, December 3, 7PM, Forest Grove Library. “Join the band SNAX for hits from the 50's and 60's and more. Come and sing along for the program the Roots of Rock and Roll.” 

Symphony Storytime”, Tuesday, December 3, 3PM, Sellwood-Moreland Library. “Each one-hour storytime features one of the four families of musical instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Children and their parents experience a live musical collaboration between the library reader and an Oregon Symphony musician 4 times in a month at each location. Musicians play short selections, talk a little about their instrument and, after the stories are read aloud, audience members can try out each instrument!” http://www.orsymphony.org/edu/storytimes.aspx

Wreath Making”, Tuesday, December 3, 6:30PM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA. “Kendra Pearce of Urban Farm School will share simple tips to make spectacular wreaths. Participants are asked to bring wire cutters if they can. All other supplies provided.”

Creating a Family Tree”, Tuesday, December 3, 4:30PM, Woodstock Library. “Bring images of your family together to create a unique family tree illuminating your family's growth and the connections between generations. Learn how to combine reproductions of your family photographs, drawing and collage to celebrate your lives together. 
Optional: Bring reproductions of family photographs to include in your project. You do not need to bring family photographs in order to participate.”

Hand Carved Holiday Cards”, Tuesday, December 3, 5:45PM, Holgate Library; Thursday, December 5, 5PM, Hollywood Library (preregistration required; register online: https://multcolib.org/events/hand-carved-holiday-cards/15846); Saturday, December 7, 3PM, Belmont Library; Monday, December 9, 6PM, Sellwood-Moreland Library; and Monday, December 16, 6PM, Troutdale Library (preregistration required; register online: https://multcolib.org/events/hand-carved-holiday-cards/15849). “Learn the basics of soft block printmaking while creating a beautiful set of holiday cards to mail out to friends and family. Together we will learn to carve on soft rubber blocks using Speedball carving tools, and how to print using Versacolor pigment ink. You will learn all the basics of printmaking in this fun and creative class.” http://www.birdseyeviewstudio.com/BirdsEyeViewStudio.com/index.html

Mason Bee Cocoon Cleaning”, Tuesday, December 3, 9:30AM, Washington County Fairgrounds Demonstration Garden, Hillsboro. Free. “As part of their 2013 series of free classes in the Demonstration Gardens at the Fair Complex, the OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners will be offering a class today entitled 'Mason Bee Cocoon Cleaning.' Ron Spendal will demonstrate the sand cleaning process. Bring your own Mason Bee nests and/or cocoons to be cleaned. The class starts at 9:30 AM and lasts 60 to 90 minutes. The Demonstration Gardens are located on the west side of the Fair Complex. Enter off of 28th Street at the Cloverleaf Parking lot.” http://www.metromastergardeners.org/washington/washevents.php?eventloc=DG

"Exploring the Unknown Tualatin River", Tuesday, December 3, 7:15PM, First Baptist Church, 5755 SW Ericson Ave., Beaverton.  Free.  Presented by Rob Baur of the Tualatin Riverkeepers. "What do you know about the river that wanders in our back yards? Join us in December as Rob Baur takes us on a virtual tour of the geology, water quality and history of the Tualatin River — from the mouth at the Willamette to the source high in the coast range." http://www.metromastergardeners.org/washington/washspeakers.php

Holiday DIY”, Wednesday, December 4, 4PM, Tualatin Library. Suggested for ages 8-12. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.tualatinoregon.gov/library/webforms/holiday-diy-tweens "Make all manner of presents to give to your friends and family this holiday season."

InBeTweens: Book Discussion for 8-12 Years”, Wednesday, December 4, 5PM, Cascade Park Community Library, Vancouver. “Join this group of 8-12 year olds for a lively book discussion the 1st Wednesday of each month. Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. Pick up your copy of this month's book at this library location.”

Lab Rats”, Wednesday, December 4, 3PM, Vancouver Community Library, 3rd Floor, Children’s Program Room. “Self-guided family science exploration. In December: Balloon Car Challenge!”

Introducing the Sky with our New Star Projection System”, Tuesday, December 3, 6PM, 7:15PM, and 8:30PM, Mt Hood Community College Planetarium, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham. $2. “All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky,
 featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.” http://www.mhcc.edu/planetarium/

Wreath Making Workshop”, Wednesday, December 4, 4:30PM and 6PM, Stevenson Library, Stevenson, WA. 

Oregon Battle Of the Books Book Club”, Wednesday, December 4, and Wednesday, December 18, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for grades 3-5. Preregistration required, call 503-350-3600. “Come discuss Battle of the Book books and answer trivia about a different book each session.” Info on Oregon Battle of the Books here: http://oboblsta.pbworks.com/w/page/5653620/FrontPage

Holiday Wreath Making”, Wednesday, December 4, 7PM, Cascade Park Community Library, Vancouver, WA. “Learn to make a holiday wreath. Greens and wreath form are provided. Bring gardening clippers or needle nose pliers and any embellishments you want to add.”

Mini Keychain Books with Hard Covers”, Wednesday, December 4, 3:30PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx. $10. Preregistration required; call 503-954-2354. Suggested for ages 7 and up. Presented by artist Sarah Fagan. “Think small this fall at Green Bean! Over the course of six after-school workshops, we'll be making books--from pop-ups to journals--small enough for our pockets, each a little bit different from the last. Using real bookbinding tools and array of media, we'll learn about structure and content as we craft the books.  Because these books are so wee, they take a wee bit of patience.” http://www.greenbeanbookspdx.com/blog.html

Tween Book Club”, Wednesday, December 4, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for grades 5-8. “Pick up the monthly pick at the Teen Desk; then join us for pizza and chat on the first Wednesdays of each month.”

Concert, “Thousand Waves”, Wednesday, December 4, 6:30PM, West Slope Library. “Thousand Waves is a unique chamber group that celebrates the music of both East and West. The group's multi-disciplined performances are noted for their dynamic and interactive mixture of classical music and storytelling. It's the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! All ages welcome. Refreshments will be served.” http://thousandwavesmusic.com/

The Stories Behind Military Insignia”, Wednesday, December 4, 1PM, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin. Free. “Chris Brown, expert on heraldry from Civil War times through World War II, will share sometimes humorous information about how these insignia and symbols were created, occasionally for deceptive purposes, His book on World War II insignia is based on his own vast collection and research. Bring any patches or pins from your family for his analysis.” http://www.tualatinhistoricalsociety.org/calendar.html

Mathmania”, Thursday, December 5, 3:30PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for grades 1-5. “Have fun with math activities. Drop in.”

Reading Rangers”, Thursday, December 5, 4PM, Cascade Park Community Library, Vancouver. Suggested for ages 5-8. “Calling all Reading Rangers! Are you too old for storytime? Ready for chapter books? Then grab an adult to join you and come ready to discuss, have fun and make new friends. Pick up your free copy of the book for that month at the Cascade Park library, read it together and come to discuss it and do an activity.”

Red Yarn Presents, “Winter in the Deep Woods”, Thursday, December 5, 11:15AM, Gregory Heights Library; and Saturday, December 14, 11AM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 10:30AM). “As fall turns to winter, all the critters in the Deep Woods must prepare for the cold and dark days ahead. Join children's performer Red Yarn as we huddle up and keep warm with classic American folk songs and folktales about the changing seasons. Fox plays a trick in 'How Rabbit Lost His Tail,' Squirrel stores food, Robin finds shelter, and other critters prepare for hibernation. This interactive program will have children singing, dancing, acting and learning how animals survive the winter.” http://redyarnproductions.com/

Decorative Wrapping Paper”, Thursday, December 5, 3:30PM, Belmont Library. “Make your own wrapping paper, decorative gift bags and cards under the instruction of artist Anya Hankin. Give your gifts an extra special touch with these handmade adornments. Each participant will come away with a selection of personalized and handcrafted items. All materials provided.” http://etpnorthwest.org/people/anya-hankin

Homeschool Program: Amazing Animals”, Thursday, December 5, and Thursday, December 19, 1:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Welcome to our wild world! We'll learn about mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and insects. Craft time included.”

Concert, “Don Jansen”, Thursday, December 5, 5:30PM, Sherwood Library. Solo guitar. http://www.donjansen.com/

Christmas in Dairyville”, Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 22, Alpenrose Dairy, 6149 SW Shattuck Rd., Pdx. Free. See website for times: http://www.alpenrose.com/pages/dairyvillexmas.html “We are partnering with 4-H of Multnomah county again this year to offer free admission to this Portland family tradition for people of all ages to enjoy. Our old western town has been transformed into a winter wonderland where you are invited to peek at the animals on display in nostalgic Storybook Lane, stroll Dairyville's vintage storefronts, enjoy refreshments, listen to local choirs sing, watch old holiday movies in the Opera House and, of course, have a visit with Santa! This year, the 4-H is proud to offer professional Santa photography to capture precious memories in a range of packages that benefit the club's efforts to bring youth programs to the community.”

Vancouver Dance Theatre Presents, “The Nutcracker”, Friday, December 6, 7PM, Saturday, December 7, 2PM and 7PM, and Sunday, December 8, 2PM, Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St., Vancouver (enter auditorium at west side of building). Tickets $12 adults, $10 seniors and children 18 and younger. A buy one, get one at $2 off coupon on their website: http://www.vancouverdancetheatre.com/nutcracker.html “What appears as a fairy-tale of a young girl’s magical dream began as a morbid story filled with dark undertones. E.T.A. Hoffman, the author of ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’, never intended this story to be for children, as his words portrayed a bleak view of humanity and relationships. Published in 1816, Hoffman’s tale would undergo revision by Alexander Dumas, eliminating much bitterness to adapt the tale as a children’s story. The new version was read with interest by Marias Petipa, the senior ballet master of the Russian Imperial Ballet, who commissioned Peter Ilych Tchaikowsky to compose a score for the full length ‘Nutcracker’ production. The story would later by simplified (but the music left intact) and was created as a holiday tale that has lasted generations.” 

ISing Choir Presents, “Blue Plate Special”, Friday, December 6, 7:30PM, Saturday, December 7, 7:30PM, and Sunday, December 8, 3PM, Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ, 5150 SW Watson St., Beaverton. Donations requested. A pre-concert lecture will be offered 30 minutes prior to the event. “ISing Choir, under the direction of Stephen Galván, presents Blue Plate Special which sets the table for the discerning ear and offers a complete feast of choral music – for free. The concert begins with “If Music be the Food of Love” by Jean Belmont and ends with “Eat Your Vegetables!” by Seattle-based composer John Muehleisen. This piece is a setting of humorous poems by Northwest poet Joanne Gunnerson. Featured on the program will be several pieces by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, as well as Peter van Dijk’s “Horizons” from South Africa. This concert series benefits HomePlate, an organization that supports the positive development of young people experiencing homelessness or housing instability through community building, education, access to services and resources, and youth empowerment.” http://www.beavertonarts.org/index.aspx?NID=99

Family Clay Night”, Friday, December 6, 6PM-8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. $20 per session for adult/child pair, $10 a session for each additional family member. Pay at MAC office. “Come as a family and play with clay! Includes glazes, firings, and 5lbs of clay. Not for solo participants. This is an adult and child activity. Use of potter’s wheel by instructor approval only.” http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/

Reindeer Magic”, Friday, December 6, 10AM-4PM, Dennis’ 7 Dees, 1090 McVey Ave., Lake Oswego; Saturday, December 7, 10AM-4PM, Dennis’ 7 Dees, 6025 SE Powell Blvd, Pdx.; and Sunday, December 8, 10AM-4PM, Dennis’ 7 Dees, 10455 SW Butner Rd, Pdx. “Bring the whole family to visit Santa’s reindeer and create magical holiday memories. Kids will enjoy festive make-n-take activities, cookies, hot cocoa and cider while enjoying the magical company of Santa’s Reindeer and listening to holiday tunes. Don’t forget to bring your camera for a festive photo opportunity with Santa and his reindeer. This is a great time to bring the family to pick out a Christmas tree of find something special in our holiday gift shop. Bring in a new or a gently used clean blanket. All blankets will be donated to Human Solutions, who is in need of blankets this winter for their Family Winter and Daybreak Shelter. These families are coming into the shelter with little to nothing to keep them comfortable and warm. The blankets are huge because as the winter months get colder the shelter attracts more families.” http://www.dennis7dees.com/garden-centers/seminars-events/reindeer-magic-returns/

Christmas Ship Parade”, Friday, December 6 nightly (except for Dec. 9) through Saturday, December 21. http://www.christmasships.org/ There will be special free viewings of the Christmas Ships at McMenamin’s on the Columbia, 1801 SE Columbia River Dr., Vancouver on many dates: http://www.mcmenamins.com/columbia There will be another viewing at the city of Milwaukie’s Winter Solstice Bonfire on Saturday, December 14, with events beginning at 4:30PM and the ships passing by around 5:45PM, on the Milwaukie Riverfront at the Jefferson St. Boat Ramp. There will be hot dogs, coffee, hot cocoa, and desserts for purchase, and the Dickens Carolers and MHS band will perform. http://www.milwaukieoregon.gov/citymanager/2013-holiday-events-umbrella-parade-tree-lighting-and-winter-solstice-bonfire-christmas-

Celebrating Oregon with Local Authors”, Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8, Jacobsen’s Books and More, 211 E. Main St., Hillsboro. “Grant McOmie- 101 Grant's Getaways; Sarah Swanson and Max Smith -Must See Birds of the Pacific Northwest; Amy Roloff- Short and Simple Family Cookbook; Janel Josephson - Images of America Aloha-Reedville; Lisa Amato and Mary Jo Morelli- Images of America Forest Grove; Ken and Kris Bilderback - Creek with No Name How the West Was Won and Lost in Gaston, Oregon and Fire in a Small Town, Wheels on the Bus; The Macalino Family: Tonya Macalino- Spectre of Intention, Shades of Venice Episodes 1 and 2, Raymond Macalino- Damien and The Dragon Kite and Percy's Planetary Surprise; Damien Macalino- What if an Alligator Ate an Avalanche.” http://www.jacobsensbooks.com/event/celebrating-oregon-local-authors Damien Macalino is a child author! Very inspiring!

Christmas in Old Europe”, Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 15, Scottish Rite Center Theater, 1515 SW Morrison St., Pdx. Suggested for ages 4 and up. Advance tickets here: http://www.portlandrevels.org/revels.php?page=the-christmas-revels-2013 Not cheap but pretty neat. “Once upon a Winter time in Old Europe, a town builds a wondrous clock to celebrate the cycle of seasons. When the extraordinary clock is completed, the town throws a grand Winter Solstice party to coincide with the annual Mummers competition. They know the Empress and her entourage will attend and the clock will astound them. As the royal party enjoys the rich offerings of traditional songs and dance from Central and Southeastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Poland), the Empress makes a fateful decision! Our 19th Christmas Revels features gorgeous costumes and set, fabulous music in 8 languages from our auditioned chorus of 65 singers. Count on plenty of humor and silly business, and wonderful instrumental music from the Portland Brass Quintet and others. Special guests include Eric Stern of The Vagabond Opera, Ithica Tell, and Revels favorite fool Burl Ross. As always, audience members will have a chance to sing along and join the revelry in this family-friendly show.” 

Literary Arts Reading”, Friday, December 6, 7PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. Free. Multnomah Arts Center Literary Arts Program instructors and students will read their poetry, fiction and nonfiction in a celebration of the written word.” http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/

Abernethy Performing Arts Presents, “Portland’s Own Nutcracker”, Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7, West Linn High School, 5464 W A St, West Linn. Ticket prices vary. http://www.apadancetheater.com/Perfomances.html

Theatre in the Grove Presents, “Annie”, Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 22, Theatre In the Grove, 2028 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove. $14 adults, $12 seniors and youths. “This heart-warming musical is the rags-to-riches story of Annie, played by TITG newcomer Mackenzie Gross. It follows her journey from the hard-knock New York orphanage to the luxurious home of billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks. Boasting one of Broadway’s most memorable scores, including ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life,’ ‘Easy Street’ and the legendary ‘Tomorrow,’ it really is no surprise that ‘Annie’ has become one of the best-loved family musicals of all time.” http://theatreinthegrove.org/wp/

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays in December, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free. “Venture out with a park guide for a free nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” December 7- Mysterious Mosses; December 14- Woodpeckers, Drummers of the Forest; December 21- Winter Solstice; December 28- Lichen, The Odd Couple. http://www.tryonfriends.org/

Pink Puppet Theater Presents, “Silly Stories”, Saturday, December 7, 11AM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for ages 4-8. “Come watch a puppet show about Lizard's Song and The Wide Mouthed Frog.”

Champoeg Holiday Gathering”, Saturday, December 7, 1-4PM, Champoeg State Park. Free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. “Warm yourself with good cheer of the season in this hands-on event where you can make cedar swags, pomanders, garland and ornaments. Listen to holiday storytelling and music while you decorate cookies.” http://www.champoeg.org/events/living-history.html

Circle of Life Celebration”, Saturday, December 7, 11AM-3PM, Columbia Grove, 3412 SE Riverwood Court, Vancouver. To RSVP contact Sandy and Erskine Wood at columbiagrove@msn.com or by calling 360-892-1443. “Join us to celebrate the return of the Chum Salmon to their native spawning grounds. This community event strives to celebrate the ecological, cultural, and historical significance of salmon to our beloved northwest home. Festivities include naturalist interpretation at Wood's Landing overlook, a Native American blessing ceremony, and a salmon bake potluck. A huge thank you to the Wood family for generously hosting and catering this annual celebration. The Circle of Life Celebration is hosted at the Columbia Grove and Wood's Landing property at 3412 SE Riverwood Court Vancouver, WA. Lots of parking available in the meadow, but carpooling is encouraged. Recommended to bring: sunglasses, binoculars, and umbrella.” http://www.columbiasprings.org/events/annual-events/circle-of-life/

Children’s Norwegian-American Christmas Party”, Saturday, December 7, 1PM-4PM, Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave., Pdx. Free. Giant Christmas tree, holiday songs (in Norwegian and English) endless homemade Norwegian cookies and a visit with Julenisse (Santa) – it’s a perfect child’s Christmas at Norse Hall – magical for grown-ups, too!” http://test.norsehall.org/events/

Christmas on the Radio: Pearl Harbor Day Edition”, Saturday, December 7, 1PM, Beaverton History Center, 12412 SW Broadway St., Beaverton. $5 donation requested. “Take a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping to enjoy radio clips, audio nostalgia, and imagery from shows like the Cinnamon Bear, Lux Radio Theater, Campbell’s Playhouse (a Christmas Carol), Amos and Andy, Kraft Music Hall (with Bing Crosby), The Jack Benny Show, Our Miss Brooks, and many more. But during the 1930's and 1940's there was more than visions of sugarplums, and Nativity scenes. War clouds darkened memories of many of those Christmases. Then on December 7th, 1941 war was suddenly not ‘over there’ anymore when bombs fell on United States soil. A radio show presented on Pearl Harbor day cannot revisit Christmas's past without recalling the voices of Edward R Murrow, Elmer Davis and H.V. Kaltenborne. Hear the news casts from the Hawaiian islands. Listen to the change from ‘There ain’t gonna be no war’ to ‘You’re in the army now.’ In addition, Radio in Wartime brought us the music of Glen Miller, the shows from the Armed Forces Radio Network. This special Pearl Harbor Day edition of Christmas on the Radio is compiled as part of the audio-biography of radio, written, produced and presented by Reliving Radio of Portland. It is scheduled at mid-day so that you can bring your parents, or grandparents, or anyone who remembers the Way Radio Was. There is limited seating so come early and revisit the nostalgia of the History Center, enjoy a Christmas cookie and stake out the best memories in the house, yours!” http://www.historicbeaverton.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1604781&eventId=786901&EventViewMode=EventDetails

Youth Spelling Bee”, Saturday, December 7, 1PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. Sign-ups at 12:45. “Just like the Scripps National Spelling Bee, only mellower, funnier, and friendlier. Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to take the stage and demonstrate their budding spelling skills. Whether you’re prepping for a school-level Bee or just looking for a chance to demonstrate your word power, you’ll have fun and learn new words at the Youth Spelling Bee. Three levels of difficulty mean everyone has a chance to shine. Free to play!” http://www.mississippipizza.com/geeks/

Jack Frost”, Saturday, December 7, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “A puppet show performance of Jack Frost presented by the Micha-el School Puppeteers.”

Writer’s Faire”, Saturday, December 7, 10:30AM-4PM, Molalla Library. “Come and meet local authors and ask questions about how they wrote their books.”

ScanFair”, Saturday, December 7, 10AM-5PM, and Sunday, December 8, 10AM-4PM, Portland Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 students with ID, free for ages 12 and under, $15 for a family of 2 adults and 2 students. “Live music, dance and entertainment, Scandinavian arts and crafts, Oregon Lucia, Queen of Light crowning, pictures with Joulupukki, Finnish Santa Claus, kid’s holiday crafts, Scandinavian food and vendors, pickled herring eating contest.” http://www.scanheritage.org/c-50-scanfair.aspx One of the biggest cultural festivals all year!

Concert, “Johnson Creek Brass Band”, Saturday, December 7, 2:30PM, Canby Library. 

Heritage Holidays”, Saturday, December 7, 2PM-6PM, McLoughlin House, 713 Center St., Oregon City. Free. “The McLoughlin House Site in Oregon City will be open from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. as part of Oregon City's Heritage Holidays event. We invite visitors to come and celebrate the holiday 1850's style! Family friendly activities include: period music, parlor games and refreshments at the Barclay House. The McLoughlin House and grounds will be lit by candlelight to chase away the winter gloom. Inside the McLoughlin House, living history interpreters will be telling stories and sharing its history with visitors.” http://www.mcloughlinhouse.org/

Holiday Greeting Cards”, Saturday, December 7, 1:30PM, Rockwood Library; and Monday, December 9, 3:30PM, Hollywood Library. “Create one-of-a-kind greeting cards and gift ties for the holidays. We'll be using beautiful ribbons, colorful papers and copper foil as we cut, fold and glue together our own special creations.”

’Twas the Night Before Christmas”, Saturday, December 7, 11AM, and Sunday, December 8, 4PM, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx. $7.00. Advance tickets recommended; available on their website: http://www.puppetmuseum.com/SummerShows.html “Mrs. Claus narrates our special version of Clement Moore's classic tale.” 

Concert, “Eagle McCall”, Saturday, December 7, 10:30AM, 1:30PM, and 3PM, Stevenson Library, Stevenson, WA. “Folk and country guitarist/singer Eagle McCall performs holiday music.” http://eaglemccall.com/

Ft. Vancouver Lantern Tour”, Saturday, December 7, and Saturday, December 21, 7PM, Ft. Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 E. 5th St., Vancouver. $10 ages 16 and older, $7 for ages 15 and under. Suggested for ages 10 and up. Preregistration required; call 360-816-6230. “Experience live theater and take a lantern-lit journey with a park ranger. Peek into the past with costumed interpreters performing historical vignettes of a night at Fort Vancouver. Learn about your urban national park then and now while walking through the Fort's buildings. Finish of your evening by sharing a cup of hot cider with the talented costume interpreters and park rangers!” http://www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/lantern-tour.htm

Concert, “Ramana Vieira and her Ensemble”, Saturday, December 7, 2PM, Midland Library; Sunday, December 8, 11AM, Central Library Collins Gallery; and Sunday, December 8, 3PM, Gresham Library. “Often referred to as the ‘New Voice of Portuguese World Music,’ Ramana Vieira is making her mark as a premier contemporary Fado artist. Fado is a melancholy and often-mournful music similar to the American blues as it tells stories of heartache and disappointment.” http://www.ramanavieira.net/

Concert, “The Chihuahua Desert Band”, Saturday, December 7, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “The Chihuahua Desert Band may be just what the doctor ordered, Fronted by lead singer/ guitarist Mark Cash, this band is playing their own version of standard rock classics, blended with a flair of Spanish love songs.” https://myspace.com/chihuahuadesert

Concert, “Kathy Burton”, Saturday, December 7, 1PM, Ridgefield Library; Ridgefield, WA. “Tranquil harp music performed by Kathy Burton.” There will be a craft for kids, cider and cookies.

“Holiday Wassail”, Saturday, December 7, 2PM, White Salmon Valley Community Library, White Salmon, WA. “Enjoy an afternoon of music, artisan demonstrations and refreshments at the library's annual Holiday Wassail.”

Hmong New Year Celebration”, Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8, 9AM-4PM, Washington County Fairgrounds, 3355 NE Cornell Rd., Hillsboro. $3 for ages 6 and up. Kids 5 and under and seniors free. “The Hmong American Community of Oregon will hold its Hmong New Year Celebration today and tomorrow in the Main Exhibit Hall. This event provides an opportunity for the families and friends of the Hmong Community of Oregon to come together to preserve and promote the heritage and tradition of Hmong through the arts, such as clothing fashion, singing, dancing, recreational activities, and enjoyment of Hmong food. Ball Tossing, Fashion Show, Traditional Hmong Dances, Traditional Hmong Singing/Kwv Txhiaj, Food and Merchandise Vendors.” https://www.facebook.com/events/543683189041941/

NW Dance Theater Presents, “A Nutcracker Tea”, Sunday, December 8, 3PM, Tualatin Library by the fireplace. “A Nutcracker Tea is an abridged, family-friendly adaptation of the Nutcracker ballet for ages 4 and up. The classic story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince is told with beautiful music, colorful costumes, and delightful dancing.” http://www.nwdt.org/

All-Ages Bhangra Social”, Sunday, December 8, 5:15PM, Viscount Dance Studio, 720 SE Sandy Blvd., Pdx. “This bhangra dance gathering features a dance lesson and turns into a fun-filled dance party.” http://www.anjaliandthekid.com/events/all-ages-bhangra-social-2013-12-01/

Curious Garden”, Sunday, December 8, 10:30AM, Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Pdx. $5 suggested donation. “Come to the Curious Garden to see our your old friends Razzie the Fairy, Ribbit the Frog, Flappy the Chicken, Meowzers the Cat, Renard the Raccoon, and Dottie the Ladybug! The Curious Garden is a show for all ages - especially kids 0-8 and occurs every month on the second Sunday at 10:30am. And remember each episode ends with an open mic where you can sing, dance, tell a joke and show off your talent at the Curious Garden.” http://www.curiouscomedy.org/events/curious-garden/

29th Annual Christmas Along the Barlow Trail”, Sunday, December 8, 1PM-4PM, Oregon Country Settlement Living History Village, 73370 E. Buggy Trail Dr., Rhododendron, OR. Free admission and free parking. “ This 29th annual celebration is a free, festive gathering held on Mount Hood that features two special events associated with the history of the Oregon Trail, where it traversed around the Mountain’s southern flank. Held on Saturday during the day a few weeks before Christmas, this is an event for the entire family. On Sunday afternoon, visitors will gather at the “Oregon Trail Christmas Village” [the Oregon Country Settlement] from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Featured is a traditional holiday festivity held at a pioneer village [the Oregon Country Settlement] along a section of the Oregon Trail through the Cascade Mountain Range, known as the Barlow Trail, in which the Willamette Valley-bound emigrant’s traversed a route along the southern flank of the 1,295- foot Mount Hood. ‘Pioneer Spirits Along Mount Hood’s Oregon Trail’ will be a special feature this year. Situated in the various historical buildings on the property, re-enactors, dressed in period clothing, will allow visitors to listen in on the conversations that would have taken place back in time, interpreting this Winter holiday as it was in our past. These are not only historical characters, but all are those who traveled this emigrant path over Mount Hood and camped in one of the several meadows on this 18-acres owned by the Cascade Geographic Society. There will be traditional Christmas caroling, pioneer flute music, free Christmas goodies and hot drinks. This is also an opportunity to shop for unique historical and nature books, Huckleberry and other Wildberry jams, and specialty products made from this wildland bounty, that would be ideal for gifts, especially for those who are hard to buy for. And, naturally, Santa Claus will be there on duty from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. One of the main features will be “Christmas Tales of Old Oregon” that begins at 3:00 p.m., which is a unique storytelling program that takes you from the days of the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the rainy and cold Pacific Coast in 1805, to the days of the Oregon Trail and pioneer settlement, and concluding on the slopes of Mount Hood in the early 1900’s. The oral tradition being shared makes this an ideal event for adults and children alike.” http://cascadegeographicsociety.com/2013-events.html

Staver Locomotive Holiday Train Event”, Sunday, December 8, 2PM-5PM, Staver Locomotive, 2537 NW 29th Ave., Pdx. Donations requested for Friendly House. “Free viewing of live model steam locomotives, live music, raffle, bake sale, and kid play area. Come see our new outdoor track!” Dress warmly as the warehouse is not heated. This is a must for any kids who like trains!

Fabulous Fossils”, Sunday, December 8, 10AM, OMSI, Paleontology Lab. $8 per ticket. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/labexperiences/fabulousfossils/120813 “Handle an assortment of rocks and fossils to determine what a fossil actually is. Help clean a real 65-million-year-old 
Triceratops and other fossils using professional tools and techniques. Make a copy of a Velociraptor claw to take home. Allergy note: claws are made of flour.”

Playing With Your Food”, Sunday, December 8, 10AM, OMSI, Discovery Lab. $5 per ticket. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/labexperiences/playwithyourfood/120913 “Working as a team, children and their caregiver can use real tools to explore some of the skills and techniques necessary for making simple, home cooked treats.”

Portland Oregon Paper Shapers (POPS)”, Sunday, December 8, 1:30PM, Belmont Library. “Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Drop in and practice origami with members of the Portland Oregon Paper Shapers. Please bring origami paper if you have it.”

Woody Wood Ducks”, Monday, December 2, 11AM, West Slope Library; Monday, December 2, 1PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton; and Monday, December 9, 4PM, Beaverton Library (preregistration required; register online: http://www.beavertonlibrary.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=2609&month=12&year=2013&day=9&calType=0 ) . Suggested for ages 3-7. “One of the most colorful ducks in the world will come to life during our program. From nesting in trees to swimming in ponds, children will be able to recognize a wood duck next time they see it in their neighborhood park.”

Concert, “Sally Harmon and Frank Gruner”, Monday, December 9, 12PM, Portland 5 Center for the Arts, Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. All ages. “Gifted local pianist and composer Sally Harmon and talented bass player Frank Gruner return to Noontime Showcase in a special program of seasonal music. Enjoy holiday favorites as well as recent works destined to become classics. Sally and Frank’s intimate, organic sound is influenced by styles ranging from classical to jazz to pop. This is a delightful treat you shouldn’t miss.” http://www.sallyharmon.com/

Kids’ Gingerbread House Workshop”, Monday, December 9, and Friday, December 13, 4:30PM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA. Suggested for ages 5-12. Preregistration required; call 360-687-2322 on December 2. “Bring your engineering and artistic know how to create your very own gingerbread house. We will provide the supplies.”

Rambling Raccoons”, Monday, December 9, 1PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton; and Monday, December 30, 11AM, West Slope Library. Suggested for ages 3-6. “Most people recognize these creatures that search forests and neighborhoods for anything that can be eaten by their black masks. Children will learn these critters are nocturnal and will use their senses to explore.” http://www.thprd.org/nature/programs/naturemobile.cfm

Tualatin High School Crimsonaires Concert”, Tuesday, December 10, 7PM, Tualatin Library by the fireplace. “The Tualatin High School Choir will be in the library for a free performance you won't soon forget! These amazing teens put on a great show for the library every year that puts you in the mood for the holidays.”

"Finding and Photographing Hidden Nature in Your Neighborhood", Tuesday, December 10, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx.  Free. "Join local birder and photographer extraordinaire Scott Carpenter for a presentation on finding and photographing breeding birds in the Portland metro area. Scott will share photos and videos that he captured at nest sites of some of Portland's fascinating breeding birds, as well as his strategies for finding and observing these nesting birds while minimizing disturbance to them. Scott will focus on four of his favorite Portland area locations – Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Forest Park, Tryon Creek State Park, and his neighborhood. That's right – Scott's typical urban/suburban Portland neighborhood is teeming with nesting birds (he's confirmed 14 breeding species so far, and is still counting), and yours probably is, too. After attending Scott's presentation, your daily walk will never be the same! You might be surprised at the amount of joy you can experience, and knowledge you can gain, from observing birds for extended periods, with or without a camera. Scott will share what he learned from spending over 80 hours observing six different Anna's Hummingbird nests one spring. He'll also share videos and photos from the dozens of hours he has spent observing other species, including Northern Pygmy-Owls in Forest Park, Barred Owls in Forest Park and Tryon Creek State Park, and the many nests he found while walking his dog in his neighborhood." http://audubonportland.org/about/events/nn-dec2013

Clackamas County Historical Society Quarterly Meeting and Entertainment”, Tuesday, December 10, 7PM, 211 Tumwater Dr., Oregon City. Free. “The New History Minstrels, with their Barbershop-style a cappella harmony teach regional history through stories-in-song. Known for their humor filled banter, subjects range from Alphonso Boone, to how the Clackamas River got its name. Our double feature opens with a special short program by Keith Walls' Abernethy Performing Arts ballet students performing selections from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. CCHS Quarterly meeting- open to the public and free for all ages. Dessert served.” http://www.clackamashistory.org/

The ‘Tween Scene! Where Families Meet to Talk About Books”, Tuesday, December 10, 6:30PM, Three Creeks Community Library, Vancouver. “Join a Parent/Child Book Discussion Group for a friendly, lively discussion on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Children ages 9-12 AND a parent must attend together, no younger children, please. Refreshments provided. This month we're reading ‘Aliens on Vacation’ by Clete Barrett Smith.” http://www.cletebarrettsmith.com/Website/Welcome.html

Travel the World”, Tuesday, December 10, 6:30PM, Canby Library. “Slide show. Explore the river culture along the Mekong, the temples around Angkor Wat, Laos, Cambodia and Chiang Mai in Thailand.”

Family Book Group- For the Younger Set”, Tuesday, December 10, 3:30PM, Northwest Library. “Boys and girls in grades 1-3 and their parents come together to share excellent books and learn about each other.”

A World of Steel: From Ancient Cultures to Today’s High-Tech Applications”, Tuesday, December 10, 7PM, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Pdx. Minors welcome with an adult. $5 suggested donation. Presented by Daniel Widlund, MSc, Lic of Eng., Chief Metallurgist at ESCO Corporation. “While steel to some may be a material much associated with the Iron Age or the industrial revolution centuries ago it is still very much a material that is alive and kicking and is probably the most important material in use today. Steel in all its different forms is present everywhere around us in all imaginable applications. Some are obvious to us, like cars, bridges, heavy machinery or kitchen appliances. Others are less known such as medical wire, surgical implants or shape memory alloys in satellites. In this talk, metallurgist Daniel Widlund will describe the evolution of steel use and production from the most ancient cultures to present day’s advanced applications and highly efficient production processes. He will provide many examples of how different applications require different properties of the steel and the metallurgical “secrets” hidden in the material to achieve these properties.” https://www.omsi.edu/sciencepubportland/121013 It is always a challenge to park in the Pearl, and the Mission Theater has limited seating, so I highly suggest getting there early.

Paint and Take a Book Bag”, Wednesday, December 11, 4PM, Midland Library (preregistration required; register online: https://multcolib.org/events/paint-and-take-book-bag/16567); Saturday, December 14, 2PM, Northwest Library (preregistration required; call 503-988-5560 to register); Monday, December 16, 4PM, Hollywood Library; and Wednesday, December 18, 3:30PM, Troutdale Library (preregistration required; call 503-988-5355 to register). “This is a wonderful opportunity for children to be able to paint their very own book bag. During this class, artists will work with the children to design and decorate a tote bag. While the paint is drying, the children will work with oil pastels. The artists will show them various techniques so they are able to expand their creative use of the materials. Upon completion of the class, the children will be allowed to take their art and supplies home in their one-of-a-kind book bag.”

Gingerbread Houses”, Wednesday, December 11, 3:30PM, Woodland Community Center, 782 Park St., Woodland, WA. “Yum, yum! Make your own gingerbread house to take home, if you can resist eating it first!”

Oregon Battle of the Books Book Club”, Wednesday, December 11, 4PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. Suggested for 3-5 grades. Preregistration required; call 503-988-5540. “Planning to participate in Oregon Battle of the Books at your school? Or just want to read and talk about some fun books? Come discuss one of the 3rd-5th grade OBOB books with other kids to prepare. Books provided by the library. Read ‘Pie’ by Sarah Weeks.” http://www.sarahweeks.com/sweeks-pie.htm

Holiday Centerpiece Making”, Wednesday, December 11, 4PM, La Center Community Library, La Center, WA. “Come and make a Holiday Centerpiece. Please bring a plastic container and clippers. All other materials will be provided by the Friends of the La Center Library.”

Americans All: the Bracero Program in Washington County”, Wednesday, December 11, 1PM, Washington County Museum, 120 E. Main St., Hillsboro. $6 per child. Free for kids 3 and under. Includes a two-hour presentation with hands-on activities and admission to the Museum gallery. Preregistration required; call 503-645-5353 ext. 133. Our 2013 programs will introduce you to our exciting exhibits! After the bombing of Pearl Harbor the United States enlisted huge numbers of citizens to join the war effort. So many people left for the war and war industries that a national labor shortage of farm workers threatened the agricultural production in United States. Through a formal agreement with the Mexican government, the Bracero program was created to supply US agriculture with Mexican and Latin American labor during World War II. Described as a temporary labor program, the Bracero agreement brought in over 215,000 workers to the United States in the first five years. Mexico declared war and joined the Allies in 1942, one of only two Latin American countries to fight the Axis. Fast forward to modern day. Washington County has the largest Latino population north of Sacramento, California. This exhibition explores the first recorded influx of Mexican and Latino immigrants into Washington County, made possible through the Bracero program. The Museum hopes to broaden knowledge in the county about the Braceros and the achievements of Americans and Mexicans working together toward a common goal. Today, agriculture is still a major piece of the county’s economy.” http://www.washingtoncountymuseum.org/homeeddays

Science Squad”, Thursday, December 12, and Thursday, December 26, 4PM, Rockwood Library. Suggested for ages 5-11. “Need to let out some steam? See science in a new light during these interactive, hands-on sessions. Experiment, examine and express!”

Mad Science”, Thursday, December 12, 3:30PM, Woodland Library, Woodland, WA. “Let your inner mad scientist out with this fun and educational program for families.”

Concert, “Joanna Pearson”, Thursday, December 12, 7PM, Oregon City Library. “Start the holiday season off by treating yourself to an evening of beautiful music with local harpist Joanna Pearson.”

Origami After School”, Thursday, December 12, 3:30PNM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA. “Join Sensei Lois to learn the ancient secrets of origami folding.”

Discussion Junction”, Thursday, December 12, 6:30PM, Vancouver Community Library. “Join us to read and talk about a different book every month. Each month a free copy of the next month’s “book of the month” will be given to those attending to keep and add to their home libraries. For readers ages 9-12 with a participating adult. No older or younger children, please. This month we’re reading ‘The City of Ember’ by Jeanne Duprau. http://www.jeanneduprau.com/index.shtml

Fabulous Festive Folding”, Thursday, December 12, 4PM, Holgate Library; and Monday, December 23, 2PM, Estacada Library. “Folding origami models around the holidays with friends and family can be so much fun! Reindeer, candy canes, and ornaments for your tree are so easy to make under the instruction of a veteran art educator and artist, Eileen Holzman. All ages are welcome and no experience is necessary. Children under 8 years old should come with an older sibling or adult.” http://www.eileenholzman.com/

Deeksha- Film, Dance and Conversation about Coming of Age in India”, Thursday, December 12, 7PM, Oregon Jewish Museum, 1953 NW Kearney St., Pdx. $10 adults, $5 students. “Join us for a night of dance and film about a ceremony that marks the entrance into adulthood from adolescence. Local filmmaker, Alissa Nicole Creamer, will screen selections of her in-progress film Dance India (working title). The feature length documentary follows teenage sisters Meena and Nandi as they prepare for one of the most important event of their lives, their Arangetram. This event is the culmination of years of studying Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form, and a rite of passage for the young women who practice it. The clips/selections will be followed by a short live performance by dancers in the Museum’s auditorium. Shivy Vanka, Meena and Nandi’s mother (also their dance teacher!), will be available afterwards for a Q and A session along with Eddy Shuldman, a tutor for bar/bat mitzvah students in the Portland area.” http://www.ojm.org/experience/film-2013-12-12-deeksha-film-dance-and-conversation-about-coming-of-age-in-india

The Read-Aloud Crowd”, Thursday, December 12, 6PM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA. “This is a "starter" book discussion group geared towards children 5-10 yrs. of age and their accompanying adult! Pick up a copy of the book from the library read it together and come ready to discuss and have fun with new friends! This month’s title: ‘The Westing Game’ by Ellen Raskin.”

Tween Book Discussion”, Friday, December 13, 3:30PM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA. “We will be reading ‘The Magician’s Elephant’ by Kate DiCamillo. Pick up a book at the library to read before the meeting. Refreshments provided. Stay after for a fun craft. Pick up your copy of this month's book at this library location.” http://www.katedicamillo.com/books/magic.html

Classical Ballet Academy Presents, “The Nutcracker”, Friday, December 13, 8PM, Saturday, December 14, 2PM and 6PM, and Sunday, December 15, 4PM, Portland State University, Lincoln Hall, SW Broadway and SW Market St., Pdx. $24 adults, $18 children ages 8 and under, $8 seniors. “Come be enchanted with Portland‘s highly acclaimed Classical Ballet Academy‘s 2013 production of The Nutcracker as this magical tradition returns for its ninth consecutive year! We invite you to be taken back in time to the Victorian landscape of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they dance and weave snowy dreams for audiences both young and young at heart. This year‘s theatrical feast will be performed at Portland State University‘s Lincoln Hall and promises gorgeous costumes and sets, fresh choreography and pre-professional talent(all of the dancers are students in the Pre-Professional Division at CBA). Don‘t miss this sell-out performance! This show is approximately two hours long including intermission. All shows are recommended for all audiences (the matinee shows are recommended for younger audience members). Let the Sugar Plum Fairy, Toy Soldiers and the Rat Queen dance memories into your family‘s holiday season!” http://www.classicalballet.net/performances.html

Studio Theatre Presents, “Dracula”, Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14 at 7PM, and Sunday, December 15 at 2:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway, Pdx. Suggested for ages 6 and older. Free. http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/

Ornament Decorating Party and Wassail”, Friday, December 13, 4PM, Washougal Library, Washougal, WA. “Create your own ornaments using materials provided. Wassail and cookies courtesy of Friends of the Washougal Community Library. Enjoy this craft, then join the community holiday parade celebration at 6 p.m.” 

"Nutcracker Cracked!!!", Saturdays, December 14, 21, and 28 at 2PM, and Sundays, December 15, 22, and 29 at 4PM, Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx. Tickets $7.00. Advance tickets suggested; get them online: http://www.puppetmuseum.com/SummerShows.html "Our wacky sendup of the beloved Nutcracker Ballet. -- You've never seen a version quite like this - Imagine -- the entire ballet in 38 minutes - What a time saver!! It's a miniature satire of epic proportions, with Tchaikovsky's enchanting music, and 84 new rod puppets. It came out wild and crazy - and oddly enough appropriate and fun for children as well."

African Song and Dance”, Saturday, December 14, 1:30PM, Albina Library; Sunday, December 15, 12:15PM, Midland Library; Tuesday, December 17, 6:30PM, Troutdale Library; and Friday, December 20, 4PM, Rockwood Library. “Join Habiba, a native of Ghana, in learning the richness of West African culture through song and dance. Habiba offers an interactive, multicultural performance with authentic West African costume, spiced with singing and movement. The whole audience gets involved in simple dance steps, call and response, greetings and phrases, and rhythm drumming.” http://www.habibasvillage.com/

Soap Making”, Saturday, December 14, 10AM, OMSI, Chemistry Lab. $15 per ticket (maximum of 3 participants per ticket). Suggested for ages 10 and up. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/labexperiences/soap-making/121413 “Make soap while learning about the reactions that go into making soap and why it is so great at cleaning! Participants must wear clothing that completely covers their arms, legs, and feet (no sandals or open-toed shoes) as we will be working with caustic substances. One ticket gets you all the ingredients necessary to make one pound of soap (about 6-8 bars), maximum three participants per ticket.”

Christmas at Fort Vancouver”, Saturday, December 14, 10AM-3PM, Ft. Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 E. 5th St., Vancouver. $3 for ages 16 and older and free for kids 15 and under. “Experience the sights and sounds of the 1800's holiday season at Fort Vancouver. Visitors will be able to view and participate in activities undertaken by residents at the fort
 during the holiday season. Enjoy Wreath Making, Holiday Beverages, Caroling, and more!” http://www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?eventID=475540-307230

"Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour", Saturday, December 14, 10AM-12PM, Lone Fir Cemetery, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation, which goes towards headstone restoration and educational programs. "Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Wheelchair accessible by arrangement. We suggest a $10 donation, and we also offer FLFC merchandise at the tours: t-shirts, hoodies, keychains, stickers, tote bags, bookmarks, and magnets. All proceeds go directly to cemetery restoration and education. Tours also available at other times by arrangement. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument." Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history. http://www.friendsoflonefircemetery.org/events/

Storybook Lane”, Saturday, December 14 through Wednesday, December 25, 5:30PM-9PM, 4288 SW Bantam Ave., Forest Grove. Donations requested. “Storybook Lane is a walk through Christmas display, found in 1936. Storybook lane is filled with nursery rhyme stories as well as family loved characters, such as Beauty and the Beast, Snoopy and friends, and new this year Shrek.” This is really special and open only every other year, so don’t miss it! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Storybook-Lane/236778213046861

Quizissippi Jr.- for Kids!”, Saturday, December 14, 1PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave, Pdx. “Quick, Mom! Which character was the title star of the first Pokémon movie? Dad–who was President when Oregon became a state? Combine your family’s collective brainpower and work together at Portland’s only family-friendly trivia event. It’s all the fun of Quizissippi geared for an all-ages audience. Test your knowledge of games, toys, history, science, books, movies, and more. Don’t miss the kid-friendly Multimedia Round! Free to play! Sign-ups start at 12:45, and quizzing starts at 1:00.”  http://www.mississippipizza.com/geeks/

Christmas Festival”, Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15, 11AM-4PM, Silver Falls State Park, South Falls Lodge. $5 per vehicle day use fee, and some crafts may have a materials fee. “Engage in various Christmas time crafts—make a wreath, a gingerbread house, cards, and ornaments. Learn how the park changes during the winter. Enjoy storytelling for kids and live music. Special appearances by JR Beaver and Santa.” http://www.friendsofsilverfalls.net/Events.html

Panel to Panel: Creating Comics”, Saturday, December 14, 2PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. “In "Panel to Panel: Creating Comics," a writing workshop for young adults, local author and cartoonist Barry Deutsch takes the audience step-by-step through the process of creating a graphic novel and becoming a cartoonist.” http://www.amptoons.com/

23rd Annual Tuba Christmas Concert”, Saturday, December 14, 1:30PM, Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., Pdx. Free. “Downtown will pulse with the melodic sounds of big brass as over 250 tubas play in unison for the 23rd Annual Tuba Christmas Concert in the heart of downtown.” http://thesquarepdx.org/calendar_december2013.htm

Lucia Fest”, Saturday, December 14, 3PM, Immanuel Lutheran Church, 7810 SE 15th Ave., Pdx. Admission Adults $10, Seniors and Kids $5. “This is a beautiful musical program introducing Oregon’s Lucia and her court. The program is followed by Swedish baked treats coffee and glögg, ring dances around the Christmas tree and a visit by the Tomten!” http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102552226038-78/2013LuciaFest.pdf

Magenta Improv Theater Presents, “Holiday Family-Friendly Improv Fun”, Saturday, December 14, 2PM, Magenta Theater, 606 Main St., Vancouver. $8 adults, $5 kids 13 and under. “A special Kids inspired MIT show filled with lots of fun and games destined to trigger fits of kid-sized giggles! 
(and laughs for the grown-ups, too!)” http://www.magentatheater.com/Calendar.htm

Waterbird Watching 101”, Saturday, December 14, 8AM-10AM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood. Free. Preregistration required; contact jenna_mendenhall@fws.gov 503-625-5944 x222. “Do you enjoy watching birds in wetlands, lakes, and streams, but are not sure what they are doing, where they came from, or even know their name? Do you want to learn more about bird behavior, migration, identification, or how to use binoculars? Join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist, Michelle McDowell, to learn the basics of birdwatching and nature observation and open your eyes to the wonders that can be discovered at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Fall and winter are the best time to experience migrating waterfowl that travel through the refuge by the thousands. All experience levels are welcome.” http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/specialevents.html

Pop-Up Cards”, Saturday, December 14, 2PM, Gresham Library. “Children of all ages (and their adults) are invited to join book artist Sarah Fagan in handcrafting their own pop-up style greeting cards. The structure is deceptively simple -- but the possibilities are endless! All materials provided, but you are welcome to bring your own favorite collage materials for a personal touch.” http://www.sarahfagan.com/

Tears of Joy Presents, “Papagayo”, Saturday, December 14, 11AM, Beaverton Murray Scholls Library. Free tickets will be given out in the lobby at 10:30AM. “Papagayo the parrot spends his days singing, playing games and disturbing the daytime slumber of the Animales De La Noche. But when the Ancient Moon Dog wakes up, and starts to eat the moon, the Night Animals are too afraid to do anything. Only Papagayo knows what to do. The Night Animals learn that Papagayo is a good friend to have, even if he is a little loud! Fun and interactive, this bilingual one person show brings the Guatemalan jungle to life with brightly colored puppets. Join us as we sing, hoot, croak , crow, and work together to scare away the Moon Dog!” http://www.tojt.org/schools/smallershows/

The Alphabeticians”, Saturday, December 14, 10:30AM, Sunnyside Library, Clackamas. “Mr. Hoo and Mr. E are going to rock out and make some noise at the library.” http://www.thealphabeticians.com/

Birding at Vancouver Lake Park”, Saturday, December 14, 8AM-11AM, 6801 NW Lower River Rd., Vancouver. $3 day use fee per vehicle. “Join Audubon Society leader Ron Escano at Vancouver Lake Park. Scope the lake for water birds then explore the riparian woodland for other wintering birds. Let's see who is here that wasn't here in mid-November! Meet at parking lot in front of middle restrooms.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/vlakeparkn13

DIY Holiday Ornaments”, Saturday, December 14, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Make glittery holiday ornaments with materials from Mother Nature. For all ages.”

Northwest Senior Theatre Presents, “All Things Holiday”, Saturday, December 14, 2PM, Wilsonville Library. “A full Christmas show in the Oak Room.” http://www.nwseniortheatre.org/

Julefest”, Saturday, December 14, 2PM, Bethany Lutheran Church, 4330 NE 37th Ave, Pdx. Please RSVP to Christina at frucs@yahoo.com or (503) 848-0837 by December 5. We will sing Danish Christmas songs and dance around the Christmas tree. There will be fun crafts for the whole family and a visit from Santa Claus! The cost is $5 for adults and FREE for children 18 and under. Refreshments will be served. DSS and SHF will provide gift bags for the kids!” http://www.scanheritage.org/c-57-upcoming-events.aspx

Santa Fly-In”, Saturday, December 14, 9AM, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, Evergreen Theater, McMinnville. $17 per person (not cheap but cool!). “Join us for an Evergreen Museum Campus tradition! Santa Claus will fly in on his helicopter while his sleigh prepares for the big night! Santa will read The Polar Express, and the movie will show after.” http://www.evergreenmuseum.org/upcoming-events/

Bubbles and Lights”, Saturday, December 14, 1PM, Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver. Free. “Kids will bubble over with excitement during December’s Second Saturday. Discover why bubbles are shiny and how rainbows are created. Can you make a prism? Come find out and join the fun.” http://www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/second-saturday-water-center

Posada Milagro”, Sunday, December 15, 1PM, El Centro Milagro, 537 SE Stark St., Pdx. Free. “This community celebration filled with Latin American traditions reflects upon the journey of Mary and Joseph in their search for refuge and is day of fun for the whole family! This year’s celebration will feature 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. performances of an original pastorela written by Angel Ignacio Gonzalez Rocha, live music by Cosecha Mestiza and others; and folkloric dance by Ballet Papalotl. Throughout the afternoon there also be arts and crafts activities for kids, storytelling for children under 5 years old, a piñata for all ages and, of course, traditional foods for purchase. Admission to the event is free, but performances are limited to ticket-holders only. Free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the theatre beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 15th. Guests are encouraged to bring donations of canned food for the Oregon Food Bank.” http://www.milagro.org/1-Performance-Presentacion/2013-14Season/posada.htm

Julesangfest”, Sunday, December 15, 3:15PM, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 11560 SE Market St., Pdx. Donations requested. “Come and enjoy a celebration of Norwegian Christmas music, traditions and memories. Dress in national costume is encouraged.” http://www.scanheritage.org/c-57-upcoming-events.aspx

Dance Fusion NW”, Sunday, December 15, 12PM, Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., Pdx. Free. “Dance Fusion NW is a local dance troupe where style and technique blend with showmanship and a sense of humor. Come see them perform today for free in Portland’s Living Room!” http://thesquarepdx.org/calendar_december2013.htm http://www.dancefusionnw.com/

Birds of Prey”, Monday, December 16, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for grades 1-3. Preregistration required; register online. “They are fierce hunters, amazing fliers, and fascinating birds. We will learn more about their lives and behaviors as we explore their feathers, beaks, talons, and adaptations for being some of the top predators in our area.” Presented by Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. 

Kid’s Co NW Presents, “Sentimental Seasons”, Tuesday, December 17, 7PM, Tualatin Library by the fireplace. “Kid’s Company NW Presents Sentimental Seasons. Kid's Company NW, or 'Kid's Co.' as it's often called, is NWCT's ambassador group to the community! Talented young performers take original musical reviews to festivals, events, retirement homes, schools and more. Let the children walk you through their favorite holiday topics: memories, trees, lights, bells, treats and of course, presents! Songs included: I'm Getting Nuttin' For Christmas, The Carol of the Christmas Bells, and The Eight Nights of Hanukkah. All of this is highlighted by dance, costumes and live music.” http://nwcts.org/content/kids-company-nw

Winter Tales by the Fire with Bag and Baggage”, Tuesday, December 17, 7PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro. “Come—one and all—and gather by the comforting glow of the Walters Gallery fireplace for a new winter tradition that will make you glad to be indoors! Sip on hot spiced cider as you brace yourself for a dramatic reading of Jack London’s chilling classic ‘To Build a Fire.’ This intense, masterful tale of instinct and survival in rural Alaska will be read live by talented Bag and Baggage actors Ian Armstrong and Cassie Greer. Space in the gallery is limited; please arrive early to guarantee a seat!” http://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/index.aspx?page=1092

Homeschool Book Party”, Tuesday, December 17, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “Calling all homeschoolers age 6-10! Make new friends, talk about great books, and make book-related crafts. Read Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed.” http://ellenbryanobed.com/books/twelve-kinds-of-ice/

Dr. Who Club”, Thursday, December 19, 6PM, Gladstone Library. “Are you a fan of Doctor Who? Watch episodes of all the Doctors and discuss/share any "Who" related news. All ages welcome. Third Thursday of every month.”

Come Make A Gingerbread House”, Thursday, December 19, 3:30PM, La Center Community Center, 1000 E. 4th St., La Center, WA. “Come make a Gingerbread House. All materials will be supplied. Bring your imagination!”

Book Talk for Ages 6-9”, Thursday, December 19, 6PM, Vancouver Community Library, 3rd Floor, Children’s Program Room. “Each month a free copy of the next month’s “book of the month” will be given to those attending to keep and add to their home libraries. For children ages 6-9 with a participating adult. This month we’re reading ‘Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom’ by Eric Wight.”

Journey Back East”, Thursday, December 19, 7PM, Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. Free. “On March 1, 2013, Hoyt Arboretum volunteer Rick Pope embarked on a three-month road trip around the perimeter of the country to see just what “back east” really meant. Camping along the way in a 1991 Vanagon Westfalia, he returned some 14,000 miles later having traversed every climate zone in the lower 48. From the Mojave Desert to the Everglades, the Appalachians from Georgia to Vermont, and the mid-west to Alpine passes in Colorado, Rick photographed plant life and birds along the way showing the amazing biodiversity of the US. Join HAF to hear about Rick's adventure-packed road trip!” http://www.hoytarboretum.org/events/upcoming-events1/

Night At The Refuge”, Friday, December 20th, 6PM-8PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood. Free. Preregistration required; email jenna_mendenhall@fws.gov or call 503-625-5944 x222. “Have you ever touched a coyote, seen a bat skeleton, or hooted like an owl? Join refuge staff and volunteers for Night at the Refuge. Learn about the nocturnal creatures that call the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge home, and what makes them so unique. We will start inside exploring pelts, skulls, feathers, and much more. Then we will head out on the trail to look and listen for the sights and sounds in the night. This is a family friendly event.” http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/specialevents.html

Yalda Eve, Winter Solstice Celebration”, Friday, December 20, 7PM, Portland State University, Multicultural Center, Smith Union Building Room 228, 1825 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. “Persia House is pleased to invite you to Yalda Eve, Winter Solstice Celebration, A Night with Renowned Persian Poet Hafez [1325-1390 AD] to consult Persian poetic lines for guidance and remembering the bonds of friendship and a community of love and gratitude for life. The program includes, but is not limited to, keynote speakers with a few words about Yalda Eve, Winter Solstice, and the Symbol of the Turquoise Bowl of Heaven, traditional vocal and instrumental melodies, recitation and reading selected from the Collected Works of Divan-i Hafiz, a night with Hafiz on big screen, audience participation with personal reflections, a superb chance to meet scholarship awards recipients, good friends and talented members of our community, and more. Tea and cookies are provided. Feel free to bring your favorite seasonal food and snacks to share. Free Admission. All are welcome.” http://www.persia.pdx.edu/

Dance Fusion NW Presents, “Christmas Stories”, Friday, December 20, 7PM, and Saturday, December 20 at 2PM and 7PM, Ft. Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St., Vancouver. $12 adults, $8 for ages 17 and under, free for ages 3 and under. “Ring in the 2013 Holiday Season as Dance Fusion NW presents its fourth annual production of ‘Christmas Stories’! An original tale of a young mother and her daughter celebrating Christmas Eve in the midst of financial struggles, the show features students and performers ranging in age from 4 to adult from the Vancouver, Portland, Ridgefield, and Battleground areas. A theatrical dance performance told with humor and compassion, Christmas Stories combines classic Musical Theater-esque storytelling with a contemporary message of hope. Featuring a variety of dance styles (including Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Hip Hop) along with live acting and vocal performances. Full of holiday spirit with a touch of the unexpected thrown in, ’Christmas Stories’ is the perfect family event to celebrate the magic, joy and hope of the season.” http://www.dancefusionnw.com/

Concert, “Heartstrings”, Saturday, December 21, 2:30PM, Beaverton Library. “Husband-and-wife duo Nancy and Rob Downie, known to local audiences as ‘Heartstrings’, will present a program of holiday music. Come and enjoy songs of the season played on hammered dulcimer and string bass, and on the hauntingly beautiful Native American flutes. After the performance, visit with Nancy and Rob, see their intriguing instruments up close, and get a 5-minute lesson on how they are played.” http://www.heartstringsduo.com/

Exhibition, “Drawing on Imagination: The Art of Children’s Illustration”, Saturday, December 21 through Friday, January 31, Central Library, Collins Gallery. “Children’s book illustration is a unique art form with many stages of development from early sketches to finished art to published book. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Oregon Chapter presents the exceptional talent of 11 published illustrators and author/illustrators in Oregon and southwest Washington. The exhibition will highlight the illustrators’ original work, including sketches, book dummies, finished art and published books. Increase your understanding of the stages involved in illustrating children’s books, and deepen your appreciation of local achievement in the illustration arts. Illustrators include: David Hohn; Carolyn Conahan; Nicole Rubel; Maggie Rudy; Kaaren Pixton; K.C. Snider; Johanna Wright; Mark Fearing; Cathy June Arneson; M.K. Nelson; Lee White.”

Concert, “Wildwood Consort”, Sunday, December 22, 2PM, Central Library, Collins Gallery. “In Darkness Let Me Dwell”. “In a mingling of poetry and music, Portland's early music ensemble the Wildwood Consort explores the world of thoughts and feelings evoked on the darkest day of the year.” http://www.wildwoodconsort.com/

A Rock and Roll Holiday Sing-along”, Sunday, December 22, 2PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Bring friends and family to a sing-along of holiday favorites like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and many others. Live musical accompaniment and lyric sheets will be provided.”

Electricity and Magnetism”, Sunday, December 22, 10AM, OMSI, Physics Lab. $8 per ticket; one ticket per person. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/labexperiences/electricity-magnetism/122213 “Learn how electricity and magnetism make our modern world possible as you play with magnets, motors, and generators in this hair raising and shocking lab.”

Whale Watching Week”, Thursday, December 26, through Tuesday, December 31, “People come from all over to learn about the gray whales that migrate past the Oregon coast each year. The Whale Watching Spoken Here program places volunteers at great whale watching sites during watch weeks so they can help others spot the whales. For more than 30 years, our trained volunteers have helped visitors watch whales at 24 sites in three states along the Pacific Northwest coast. We definitely know whale watching. Learn more about whales at the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Rangers are ready to answer your questions--we definitely know whale watching!” http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=thingstodo.dsp_whaleWatching Binoculars, warm clothes and lots of patience are definitely required! If you want to increase your odds of seeing whales, consider finding a whale watching boat.

Oregon Renaissance Band”, Friday, December 27, and Saturday, December 28, 7:30PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St, Pdx; and Sunday, December 29, 3PM, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, 17405 NE Glisan St., Pdx. Tickets sold at the door, $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. “Oregon Renaissance Band presents their annual Christmas/New Years Concerts. The group, celebrating its 22nd year, specialize in the performance of 16th and early 17th century repertoire on historical instruments. Many of the instruments played by members of ORB are built by the performers themselves after museum originals. Members include David Bryan, Sharon Cheney, Daphne Clifton, Ben Fitch, Lori Fitch, Polly Gibson, Andrew Harris, Cindy Markham, Gayle Neuman, Phil Neuman, Kathryn Richer, and Hideki Yamaya.” http://www.emgo.org/events.htm

Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture”, Saturday, December 28, 12PM, North Portland Library. “Come help us celebrate ‘Ujima,’ collective work and responsibility.”

OMSI Presents, “Electrifying Science”, Saturday, December 28, 2PM, Cascade Park Community Library, Vancouver. “Learn all about electricity. Where does it come from? Is it all the same? Can you make your own?”

Public Night at the Haggart Observatory”, Saturday, December 28, 5:30PM- 9PM, Haggart Observatory on the grounds of the John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City. Free. Please call 503-594-6044 option 1 after 3PM on the day of the event to hear a recording that will tell you if it is too cloudy for this event to take place. You may climb the stairs to the observation deck and have a turn looking through the main telescope! No flashlights please. More info here: http://www.rosecityastronomers.org/sp/haggart.htm Visitors get in line very early for this event, so be prepared for a wait. It will be worth it!

"Dirt Time", Sunday, December 29, 9AM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham, meeting at the Flood Plain parking area.   Free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. On the last Sunday of every month at 9AM, the Portland Trackers Club  gets together to look for tracks, scat and signs of every kind of critter. They are very welcoming to beginners!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/117827544940736/

Keep the Lamps Burnin’ and Soulstice Music”, Monday, December 30, 2PM and 3:30PM, Woodstock Library. Free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM. “American Roots artist Lauren Sheehan weaves songs and stories from our broad American musical heritage to celebrate the solstice, winter and holiday traditions. This enlivening music, rooted in the real spirit of people and places, will touch themes of the wonder, the changing of the seasons, renewal, darkness and light with Olde English and Irish carols, African American gospel, and traditional mountain and folk songs.” http://www.laurensheehanmusic.com/

Wise Owls”, Monday, December 30, 1PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. “See a Great Horned Owl specimen up close! Find out what makes an owl different from other birds and where to look for owls when you are outside in the dark. This program is geared for ages about 3-8 years old. No preregistration required.” http://www.thprd.org/nature/programs/naturemobile.cfm

New Years At Noon”, Tuesday, December 31, 11AM-1PM, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Pdx. “New Years at Noon - A Family Bash!

 Join us to count down the new year at noon! This is a ball you won’t miss dropping and you’ll for sure stay awake for this party! Pool float, all ages dance party, games and snacks, countdown and balloon drop at noon, ‘Wizard of Oz’ on the big screen in the ballroom at 1PM.” http://www.portlandjewishacademy.org/page.cfm?id=1309&start=12/19/2013&verbose=7226#.UoxkEChNCkQ